Jim Clark Rally crash: 'Two members of same family killed' after car collides with spectators

Two cars left the course and hit spectators in separate crashes

Three people have been killed and six more injured in crashes at a motor rally in Scotland.

Cars hit spectators lining the track in two separate incidents hours apart at the Jim Clark Rally near Kelso on Saturday.

The most serious accident happened at Little Swinton, near Coldstream, at about 4pm when a racing car veered off the road into the crowd.

One woman and two men, rumoured to be members of the same family, were pronounced dead at the scene and another man was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

In a similar accident two hours earlier, five spectators – four men and one women – were injured near Crosshall Farm on the Eccles stage of the track.

Two escaped with minor injuries but the others are in hospital, including one in intensive care.

The racing drivers are understood not to have been injured.

Official confirmation of the crashes came almost seven hours after the first collision.

The scene of the crash at the Jim Clark Rally. The scene of the crash at the Jim Clark Rally.

Superintendent Phil O'Kane said: “I'd like to offer my condolences from Police Scotland, Scottish Borders Council and the organisers of the Jim Clark Rally for the tragic circumstances that bring us here.”

The rally was cancelled after the fatal crash and the Eccles stage was suspended after the first accident, he said.

Questions remain about where people were standing and how the cars left the road.

Mr O'Kane said responsibility for safety rests with the rally's organising committee.

“I do know it is well stewarded, safety is a very big consideration in the planning of it,” he added.

Eyewitnesses to the fatal crash described “terrible” scenes.

Tony Cowan, a spectator, told the BBC: "It was just one car which lost control. It went sideways one way and then to the other side of the road and ploughed into four people.

"It was terrible, absolutely terrible. I ran to help but there was little I could do. The air ambulance arrived after about three quarters of an hour. There were police cars and ambulances. It was chaos, just chaos."

Others on social media had earlier posted pictures and comments about the rally.

One person commented on ”brave“ people sitting on a verge close to a junction at Eccles.

Scores of others left messages of condolence on the Jim Clark Rally website.

The racing competition takes place over three days on closed roads in the Duns and Kelso areas.

It is named after Scottish Formula One driver Jim Clark, who grew up in the area and was killed in a motor racing accident in Germany in 1968.

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, called the crashes “desperately sad and difficult news”.

He said: “My thoughts are with all of those involved and the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.

"The Government is in contact with Police Scotland and we await the outcome of their inquiries.

“The Jim Clark Rally is a long-standing event of over 40 years. It is much loved in the Borders and by the rally driving community who I know will share in our sadness at what is a black day for the Borders and for Scotland.”

Local MSP John Lamont added his condolences and emphasised the rally organisers efforts to ensure the safety of spectators and drivers.

“With any event of this nature, there will always be an element of risk,” he added.

“I live just a few miles away from the scene of the accident and I know that everyone is shocked and saddened by this dreadful news.”

In a statement, the rally organisers said staff were “in shock” and their thoughts were with the friends and relatives of the casualties.

Out of respect for the victims the Rivers Rally due to be held on Sunday has been cancelled, it said.

Additional reporting by PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Receptionist

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A bookkeeper/receptionist posit...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£28500 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers unique corp...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Product Support Specialists

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This world leader in the design...

Recruitment Genius: Field Engineer

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has 30 years of ex...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat